Kahr Firearms is one of the more recent American gun developers but they’ve already made quite a name for themselves. As a manufacturer of concealable carry weapons (CCWs), they’ve chosen the fastest growing market to target. So it should be no surprise to see how quickly they’re growing. Since Barack Obama first took office, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared over 200%, with now over 15 million Americans carrying. People across the globe are buying firearms at an increasing rate, and the gun companies have been trying to capitalize on this by delivering better products each and every year. As a result, once-small companies, like Kahr, have grown tremendously and enhanced their merchandise. Because of their high demand, weapon designers around the world have been striving to design the best CCW, and Kahr has some of the best on the market.
However, considering that so many of Kahr’s pistols are so similar, this Gunivore comprehensive breakdown is more crucial than ever. And while these handguns may look the same, it’s their many nuances which make them so different. In today’s Kahr Arms PM9 review, we’ll look at a pistol that is part of their popular Premium Series. But before we begin, I highly recommend checking out our rundown on the entire Kahr Arms Company just to get a glimpse of the past, present and future of this feel-good American success story.
Kahr Arms PM9 Specs
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Overall Length: 5.42”
Barrel Length: 3.1”
Capacity: 6+1 (7+1 mag with grip extension)
Weight: 15.9 oz. loaded
Sights: Drift adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights
Finish: Black Polymer Frame, Matte Stainless Steel Slide
Kahr Arms PM9 Build
The new and improved PM9 is just one of many great firearms within the impressive Premium Series offered by Kahr. There are so many great features included in the Premium Series guns, so why don’t we start from the bottom and make our way up. Keep in mind that as part of this series, the PM is crafted with some of the finest materials and state-of-the-art technology.
Kahr supplies these 9mm semi-autos with durable high-grade corrosive resistant 400 Series stainless steel magazines. One of the best features on these extended mags is their flush baseplate which provides the necessary space for an extra finger.
Moving on up, the highly-texturized grips on the PM9 are not only comfortable, but also offer a superior draw. Next we move on to the crisp and easy to use Double-Action Only trigger which is surprisingly resilient.
Now we’ve finally reached the sturdy PM9 slide machined from 416 solid stainless steel. However, this slide is not just durable, it’s also remarkably effective. The slide serrations on the rear of the PM9 make it easy to charge the firearm. Furthermore, this sleek and sexy slide houses the Kahr match grade polygonal rifled barrel, which is one of the noteworthy upgrades from the Value Series. Take a look at the PM9’s younger, more affordable brother, the CM9, and see how much more the Premium Series has to offer.
Overall, it’s not the weight (14 oz!) that makes the PM9s so outstanding, rather it’s their extraordinary dimensions. At less than 6” long, 4” tall, and less than 1” wide, the PM9 is seriously small! And yet, Kahr has managed not to sacrifice ergonomics in place of size. I was pleasantly surprised how the PM9 felt in my hands; the tactical rubber grip and extra finger space are sure to impress.
Kahr Arms PM9 Performance
Although Kahr firearms may be more famous for their size and build, their shooting ability should not be underestimated. The PM9’s impeccable accuracy begins with the match grade polygonal rifled barrel with 1-10 right-hand twist. To enhance their accuracy even further, Kahr outfitted these semi-autos with drift-adjustable, white bar-dot combat sights. Although pretty standard, this sight system is definitely better than what’s on your average CCW.
Moving on, all of Kahr Firearms are constructed with several distinctive patents which provide for a unique shooting experience. The CM9 features Kahr’s noteworthy cocking cam-trigger system which both unlocks the firing pin block (passive safety) and completes its cocking and releases the firing pin. This novel patented operation provides a “safe-cam action” and an astoundingly smooth double-action only trigger stroke. This attribute makes Kahrs great for carrying since they are safer and faster than your average CCW. That being said, its double-action only trigger, which pulls at a heavy 7 lbs., could be a make-or-break for some shooters.
The striker-fired “Browning-type” PM9 also features an astonishingly low bore axis to the shooter’s hand which significantly reduces the recoil. In terms of its handling, the PM9 is pretty ergonomic. Kahr gave these semi-autos comfortable grips which definitely boosts control and improves accuracy. They’ve also managed to reduce muzzle flip and keep recoil as manageable as possible.
On Kahr Firearms’ website, they’ve posted a video showing of several of their Premium Series guns in action, and it’s something to see. One of these clips features them testing their accuracy at 100 yards. The PM9 is extraordinarily accurate at this great distance, not that you’ll ever probably need it to be. Nevertheless, it’s comforting to know that this gun can do some pretty amazing things.
However, the only performance shortfall is the below-average speed of repeat fire. Although a relatively small problem, it definitely has to be considered when choosing a CCW.
As a super compact CCW without any rails, the PM9 doesn’t have so many accessory options, but there are still a few aftermarket possibilities. Unlike the CM9, the Premium Series guns have removable sights with tritium night sights and Crimson Trace laser sight available.
Kahr ships all of their single-stacked Premium Series handguns with 3 magazines; in the case of the PM9, Kahr offers two 6 round mags with flush floorplates and one 7 round mag with an extended grip. These American-made beveled mags are plasma welded and treated to ensure their strength and endurance. Since the PM9 already comes with 3 magazines, it’s probably not necessary to pick up extras, but Kahr’s catalog does have nice options just in case.
Kahr’s CCWs are geared to be super compact and concealable so naturally there’ll be endless options out there. When picking a holster, there are several options to consider, including where on your body you want to carry, your price range, and what type of material you’re looking for. I’ve become a big fan of AlienGear Holsters over the past year and they have a pretty nice selection to choose from. I recommend going with their best-selling Kahr PM9 Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB (inside the waistband) Holster; they also offer a matching extra mag carrier which is a smart buy.
If you’re looking for super concealability, consider the Active Pro Gear Pocket Holster (very affordable) or their comfortable ankle holster. Your next level holster might be the DeSantis Tuck This (ambidextrous) Holster; this versatile choice is designed to be used as an inside the waistband, crossdraw, or small of the back holster.
PM9 VS. CM9
Even within Kahr’s catalog you can compare the PM9 to its more affordable variant, the CM9. The PM9 is significantly more expensive, but the extra cost gives you several extra features and decreased size and weight. Besides for the extra mag and ability to change the sights, the premium 9mm pistol has polygonal rifling and more durable components which makes it more accurate and resilient. All things considered, if price is a big concern, don’t feel like you’re missing out so much by going with the CM; but if the extra cash isn’t a problem, definitely go for the sweet PM9.
VS. GLOCK 26
Besides for the CM9, the Kahr PM9 can also be compared to the Glock 26. At first glance, you’ll notice that the Glock is slightly bulkier than the ultra-compact Kahr. The biggest benefit of choosing a Glock is the fantastic and classic reputation that comes along with it. They handle relatively similarly; they both can be cocked easily, have very manageable recoil, and great accuracy. In terms of their mags, the heavier Glock offers 4 more rounds, but the 7-round magazine with a convenient finger extension is pretty sweet.